Tom Starling

I am supporting the Kent Communications team to update and maintain our central database of key media channels, known as the Campaign Brain.

Age: 24

University: BA in Philosophy and Politics, University of Reading, with 6 months abroad in the University of Rhode Island

I’m currently placed within the Kent Communications team, part of Strategic and Corporate Services. The team manages our external communications and media strategies. We currently use a database the ‘Campaign Brain’ to keep track of our media channels. My project for the Campaign Brain is essentially two-part: Initially, I’ll be working to update and maintain the quality of the information in the database. Further to that, I’ll be designing means by which we can better utilise the database to provide us with practical media intelligence, allowing us to better target media decisions, and better evaluate their effectiveness. Ideally, I’ll have the opportunity to put this knowledge into practice before the placement ends with some live campaigns.

My previous placement was with the Engagement and Communications team, where I worked with a Corporate Director to build a resource management oversight tool, supported a redesign for subsections of our internal intranet, all the while supporting the team with business as usual activities like mailshots, website updating and updating e-Learning / training sessions. I was also involved in filming and editing a number of short engagement films that the team were charged with creating.

In my second placement – with Adults Phase 3 Transformation – I was initially heavily involved in organising and helping to run a large study involving over a hundred participants, designed to provide an accurate picture of activity undertaken by various roles in OPPD and the care teams. As the placement developed, my role was focused around providing in-depth data analytics on the results from the study, and using that data to support the business case for transformation.

I was placed at iESE for my first placement, iESE are a not-for-profit consultancy that specialise in public sector transformations.  In iESE, I worked with other local councils on a variety of projects, including a review into Disabled Facilities Grants and a council wide review into Support Services provision. It was particularly interesting to get a first-hand experience of other councils and their processes, and the skills I learned with iESE are still standing me in good stead two placements later!

Why did you apply for the Kent Graduate Programme - Management Stream?

The Kent Graduate Programme really appealed to me due to the opportunity to experience a series of placements in 4 different areas within the council over the 2 year programme. I knew before I applied that I was interested in working either in local government or in a charity, and the fantastic breadth of experiences KCC offered really sold the scheme to me. Not only does the scheme provide the potential for varied experiences, it is paired with a robust personal development scheme one day a week, where the graduate cohort work together on a project and also receive further training and development.

Current placement:

Kent Communications team, part of Strategic and Corporate Services

You should apply if you are:

  • passionate about local government work
  • looking for a scheme with fantastic opportunities for progression and personal development.